HOW TO STRUCTURE A BREAKFAST IN A HOTEL IN TIMES OF COVID19?
Halfway through May 2020, it is still difficult to define what measures will be dictated by the various European governments for the reopening of hotel structures. With a little research, taking a cue from the WHO (World Health Organization) guidelines and observing the countries that have already emerged from the pandemic crisis, however, some scenarios can already be outlined.
photo credit: Anastasia Zhenina
Why will it be discouraged to do the service on the breakfast common area
To this day, the WHO has published two guides, one for the food industry and one for the hotel industry, which suggest the adoption of a responsible attitude and prevention practices to limit infections. Some of these have now become common practice in the past months: wearing a mask, maintaining regular hygiene, and respecting the interpersonal distance of at least one meter to limit the circulation of the virus. These measures are not so simple to apply in the breakfast room of a hotel where guests come and go freely between their table and the buffet area to choose the dishes they prefer and make this breakfast ritual a happy and delicious moment. During this service, the waiters come and go to restock the buffet every minute, to bring hot drinks and other foods served à la carte, as well as to take the empty dishes that accumulate on the edge of the diners’ tables.
In fact, the buffet can represent an important contagion hazard given the various unprotected foods exposed to possible contamination. During the communication between guests and waiters necessary for orders and the consequent service of the dishes requested, it is particularly difficult to respect the interpersonal distance of at least one meter. It is also impossible to wear a mask while eating. Particular attention must then be paid to hygiene in general: dishes, cutlery, and food containers must be strictly washed in the dishwasher even if they have not been used. Disposable or fabric tablecloths and napkins must be changed between each customer and washed with more restrictive protocols than usual. Even fabrics and carpets in restaurant furnishings (chairs, carpets …) no longer seem suitable because they can be a receptacle for germs and bacteria, and are more difficult to wash than other alternative materials. In conclusion, it can be particularly difficult to serve breakfast in the dining room with the new safety protocols.
The room service solution
To find a solution to this problem in a traditional yet creative way, an interesting breakfast option is room service. Using disposable containers or properly washable dishes, each hotel can adapt this service to its own preferences, with a breakfast card, customizable menus, or Breakfast Boxes to be ordered by phone, as well as of course paper menus to be filled out the night before. This new activity is likely to require dedicated packaging, single-serving products, and extra staff as well as a different organization in the kitchens and in the “back offices” or “offices” of the floors. A further solution may include equipping these with microwave ovens, kettles, and coffee makers in order to heat the dishes that need it and prepare hot drinks at the last moment before delivery to the rooms in order to guarantee excellent quality and presentation.
Filter coffee can be an extremely suitable solution for this situation. The French Press, in particular, because it is very easy to use directly in the room, requiring only hot water obtained with any common kettle and features an infusion time of 4 minutes which can be easily monitored with a dedicated hourglass. The guest can prepare coffee independently by requesting the ad hoc single-dose of ground coffee chosen from a coffee list that can be managed with simplicity and care, for an excellent cup of full-bodied coffee. Percolation coffee makers, such as the professional Wilfa Precision, are perfect for making coffee directly in the “back office”. The high flexibility allows you to manage both the single-cup format, excellent in combination with a coffee menu that offers different selections, and in a multi-cup format by using thermal carafe to keep coffee at the right temperature. The prepared drink can be served directly in the cup or divided into ceramic or metal coffee servers combined with the rest of the dishes provided. Additionally, our single-dose, easy-to-use GROUNDtoENJOY format allows members of the staff to easily manage this new offer without the need for special training. Little space is required in the magazine to store the Roll Box coffee packs thanks to their front opening which makes them stackable and easy to use. Finally, particular attention must be paid to cleaning and sanitising the equipment as recommended by the WHO. All the above-mentioned equipment is dishwasher safe: the French Press can be completely dismantled and each component is suitable for the dishwasher; while Wilfa Precision, unlike many other electric coffee makers, has a removable tank to facilitate the cleaning phase and allow it to be cleaned together with the carafe and filter holder, which are also dishwasher safe for a thorough cleaning.
As stated before, breakfasts can even improve in quality with the implementation of a new coffee offer, which combined with the single-dose format and the coffee cards that accompany the guest in the tasting, transforms this moment into a real sensorial journey. The customers can choose their coffees in the breakfast menu and discover, while enjoying their breakfast in peace, the story of these extraordinary Arabica beans thanks to the coffee card that accompanies each cup. In this way, each day of their stay can become a new discovery, a new journey along the supply chain, and above all, a pleasant memory of their time at the hotel.
How are you planning to organize breakfasts and serve quality coffee in your business while limiting the spread of the virus and maintaining a positive and qualitative image? Leave us your comments or ideas!